38 thoughts on “How My Daughter Is Spending Summer Vacation

  1. That horse won’t ride itself.

    Not on this plane of reality, anyway.

    I hope she has a wonderful summer! I used to love and loathe summer: all that horrific heat, but at the same time, no school, meaning no bullies, jerks, or jackasses (well, outside my family, anyway) for a whole couple of months.

    Aaaahhh.

  2. Congrats on your 8,001st post! (give or take a 20% margin for error)

    Also, horses are great animals to ride. Hope she gets to ride some real trails.

  3. That’s what my wife did as a teenager too. Equestrian jumping, to be exact. Horses are way cool. If she likes them enough, she should visit Mongolia, homeland of the horse.

  4. Watch it, you’re on that slippery slope…first riding lessons, then you end up buying a horse. And you don’t have the usual excuse..”we don’t have room for it.” Looks like the beginning of a great summer..

  5. Aah, brings back memories. I spent some summers like that as a youth, and so did my daughter. I think every kid needs to learn to appreciate the beauty and grace of those wonderful animals. Wish every kid had the opportunity.

  6. Oh man, I *loved* horseback riding lessons when I was younger, and my mother *did* own a horse which she had from the time she was about sixteen until she was five months pregnant with me. It was such a fun hobby but it’s so expensive. Alas.

    Also, her helmet looks weird, like a bicycle helmet and not a horse riding helmet, or were ours just old-fashioned?

  7. Listen to Elaine in Ohio, she speaks wise words, says the guy who thought one lesson for her 7th birthday would get his daughter over the horse thing. Today we own a horse and said daughter is filtering the colleges she will apply to this fall based on their equine science program and the competitiveness of their horse judging teams.

  8. Dii, that’s a riding helmet — you can buy a cover to make it look more like the dressy ones. My daughter has a similar one (and will be doing similar horsey activities this summer).

  9. You’ve got plenty of space on your homestead for a horsebarn and fencing in some pasture. And there are plenty of local farmers who could delivery you hay bales and feed at a good price.

    I look forward to the picture of horse-dog-cat lineup at the Scalzi compound.

  10. Yea, summer! Yea, riding! Yea, chores! (Somehow they seem more tolerable in the summer, probably because there was daylight left when they were done.) Yea, helmets! (I suppose, knowing the dangers, but they hadn’t been invented when I learned to ride, or they hadn’t penetrated to our corner of the Plains.) I hope she has a safe and wonder-filled summer. You, too, parents.

  11. Makes me nostalgic for my childhood; I spent most summers on my horse, riding the hills and trails of Napa, CA. Sadly, we didn’t hold on to that property, and horse ownership has been a dream ever since.

  12. Yay! That looks like so much fun.

    Interesting mixture of tack on the horse: that’s a snaffle bridle and Athena’s using English reining, but that breast collar looks more Western. John, any other pics?

  13. I’m envious. I rode horses from the time I was five until I was in my early 20s. I’m 38 now, and not a day goes by I don’t miss it. I was actually thinking the other day that the trip I do after the next one (which spot is already taken) is going to have to be a riding holiday.

    I hope she has a great time, and that her amazing dad (you *are* an amazing, dad, riiiiight?) will buy her her own horse when the time comes…

  14. She needs to take her bow along to practice being a Mongol or for the Zombie apocalypse

  15. From one rider to another, Stud Muffins horse treats are equine CRACK. I have an ill-tempered sonofabitch of a rat bastard gelding and he will do anything I ask for a stud muffin.

    So, if she riding english or western? The bridle says english and that massive honkin’ breastcollar says western. Or is she in an aussie rig?

  16. In my trail riding world, which I hope she will get to visit, any horse equipment that works and is comfortable for both horse and rider is great. Said as someone who has ridden with a bosel hackamore and a dressage saddle on hilly trails. The horse had been hurt with a bad bit and had issues with anything in her mouth; the saddle was comfortable for both of us.
    My guess is that this horse has a snaffle so that his mouth will survive beginners hands. The saddle is probably western so that beginners feel more secure at speed. This is a combination I have seen many times in lessons. She looks like she is enjoying herself. Hope she has a good time this summer. May she find the slippery slope mentioned earlier. I have had a glorious time with horses for nearly 40 years.

  17. D.J., thank you for posting that!

    I had that quote in my head, as soon as I read the post about the young lady filtering her college choices according to equine programs.

    Wonder if anyone else got the reference?

    Also, I hope Athena has a wonderful time! All she needs is her bow and quiver, and she’d look a right fine elf.

  18. Maybe if I’d worn a helmet I wouldn’t have messed up myself so badly being bucked off when I was 12. No, wait, I landed on my face… the helmet wouldn’t have done a thing. LOL Anyway, that’s a lovely horse! She has great posture, too. I sort of miss riding, but one of the things that happened when I was 12 was I messed up my knee and after that could only comfortably ride bareback. When my old mare died, I never felt comfortable enough on any other horse to do that.

  19. And I should reply to Interrobang… My dad is a cowboy – the real thing – and he had me riding before I could walk. I used to spend hours on my old mare (she wasn’t so old at the time) riding around, just rambling with my dog. I raised my mare myself, and had her used to a saddle (by using the saddle dummy) very young, but usually rode her either completely bareback or with a bronc rigging (if we were herding the cattle). Those were the days, alright…

  20. Best of luck to her in riding. I have ridden since I was very young and I could never image a week without spending time in the saddle. We are all so lucky to be able to ride.

    The earlier poster is right though, watch out, the money sink of the equine world is about fall upon your home.

    Even when you start making a little money from competitions or training I have only met a few people out of hundreds who actually make any money from horse work.

    I guess I should start wearing a helmet as well???

  21. So far as financing is concerned John could always employ the Rita Crundwell strategy to equine pursuits. Okay, well, maybe that wouldn’t be a very good “solution”.

  22. Hybridan — From conversations with the younger generation, especially if you’re doing dressage, fox hunting, steeplechase, … anything with jumping (or falling.) Safety stirrups, too.

  23. The outside of a horse is good for the inside of just about anyone. I rode hunters/jumpers, did a little showing, etc. from grade school until after I got out of high school.

    Plus girls and horses. Really.

  24. That looks tons of fun. Girls and horses? If we’d had the money, I would’ve loved to have taken riding lessons at her age, and I’m a guy. So. Whatever. I think each generation is becoming less and less beholden to gender and sex stereotypes.

    I like the photo too. The effect of Athena’s hair being sideswept gives the image a nice bit of dynamism.

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